California faces big weather warm-up, possible record highs

California’s weather roller coaster was headed up Wednesday, with forecasts for widespread summerlike heat.

A strong ridge of high pressure building over the region was expected to push temperatures well above normal through Friday, the National Weather Service said.

Record high temperatures were possible in some areas.

In Southern California, strong gusts from the north were shifting to the northeast, becoming Santa Ana winds.

Temperatures in the warmest areas Thursday could top 100 degrees (37.7 degrees Celsius), forecasters said.

Long range forecasts see a big change over the West by the weekend, with temperatures falling below normal and the possibility of rain early next week.